Saturday, October 29, 2005

I Went to School Today

...the Nikon Digital Photography School, that is. I had to catch a cab around 7:30 a.m. to make the 8:03 a.m. train to NYC. The next one was too late for the 9:30 class. The class was on the 18th Floor of the Hotel Pennsylvania, right across from Penn Station. It's been a long time since I've sat in a class for an entire day. We did get 15-minute breaks in the morning and afternoon, and an hour for the non-gourmet box lunch! I felt like a rank amateur among all these folks with their $1500+ Nikon Digital SLR Cameras! They asked about gray cards for white balance, aperture settings, shutter speed, RAW, TIFF, and JPEG. At least I learned that the last (which I use) is pronounced Jay-Peg. Of course, I didn't get to see any of their photos, so maybe they just talk a good game. They showed many of the pro's photos, and I hate to brag, but some of my Botswana & Zimbabwe pictures could stand up to their Kenya pictures!

I did get a lot of helpful material--just what I need, more stuff! The lecturer Bill Durrence is a very experienced, well-traveled photographer and his sessions were helpful and interesting--composition, simplify, fill the frame, isolate, make one point, etc.; when to use flash and when not to, good filters to have (a clear one to protect your lens; a diffuser), when to use various White Balance Modes (I don't even know if I have White Balance modes on either the Nikon or the Sony). My Nikon & Sony digital cameras are sniffingly referred to as "Point & Shoot" cameras.

I now have a Certificate (of course I have to fill in my own name & date), stating I have "Successfully Completed Nikon School Introduction to Digital SLR Photography." Does that move me up from rank amateur to just plain amateur? And I don't even have a Digital SLR camera (nor do I expect to get one soon).

I sat with some pleasant people from NJ at lunch. A woman who teaches Biology told me about an interesting web site: You travel with a photographer/instructor in small groups. A little more involved than the day trip to Jersey City that I arranged for the Museum volunteers in September.

Words--words--words! This is supposed to be about pictures! Well, I did take some with my "point & shoot" Sony. It was sunrise on the train platform in Brick Church this morning, and after the "pros" cleared off the 18th floor, I got a couple of pictures of the view from the Pennsylvania Hotel. I'll download & post them later!

Going to school is exhausting and I need a nap! Snappy

Yes, it's really sunrise at Brick Church Station. Those who know me, know how rare an occasion this is!
Almost sunset. After the 100 or so class participants left, I was able to get a few pictures of the view from the Penntop South Ballroom on the 18th Floor of New York's Hotel Pennsylvania.
A view from another window. Can't quite make out what the painted building facade is all about.


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